Home Business Insights & Advice Seven fundamentals of business writing and communication

Seven fundamentals of business writing and communication

by Sponsored Content
14th Feb 19 10:26 am

Writing a business letter is a skill that anyone should master. Business writing is a type of communication used in a professional setting. Some examples of business writing are presentations, proposals, reports, and emails. This kind of writing has one ultimate goal, and that is to convey a message to the reader and elicit a response.

A business letter is something formal and as compared to writing a letter to a friend, learning how to write a formal letter needs practice. Serious professionals will even attend a free course on business writing just to increase their business letter writing skills. But, if you’re short on time, you can follow these seven fundamentals to improve your business writing and communication skills.

1. Knowing your audience

Like any form of writing, business writing involves knowing your audience as well. You might say that your audience would naturally be professionals in a work setting. While that may be true, you’re not sure exactly who they are in the organizational chart. For example, you can’t write an office memorandum designed for C-level employees and hope that B-level managers would understand what you’re saying.

When you write a letter to persuade action, you should know the following:

  • How many will read it?
  • Are they familiar with what you’re talking about?
  • What is their background (age, gender, education level, and position)?

2. Complete and concise

Not all those who’ll be reading your business letter will have the same level of information you have, and if they do it’s still essential for you to reiterate the information you wish to convey. Complete business communication should have the following information:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • How

More than anything else it’s essential for you to know your message well before you can convey it accurately. For example, if you’re trying to explain a complex concept, try to put them in a step-by-step bullet point guide to avoid forgetting anything. However, completeness doesn’t mean wordy. Try providing complete information as concisely as you can. Remove unnecessary information from your text and go straight to the point.

3. Professional

It goes without saying that a business letter should be professional. You can show professionalism by using the correct salutations, names, gender, and especially titles. You don’t want to be sending in a report to the CEO that’s not addressed correctly. Even if you’re using office templates when writing reports or emails, be sure to check if everything is in order before hitting send.

If you’re unsure about the spelling of their name or their position, ask someone who does or check with their secretaries or colleagues.

And if you’re creating a digital proposal, it might be worth using an online proposal tool to create them.

4. Clean

No matter how fun your personality is, don’t let that flow into your business letters. Make your business letter clean and neat at all times by observing the following:

  • Stay away from using colored papers and fancy font types.
  • Use plain White paper as this appears more formal.
  • If you’re sending an email, write a clear subject line.
  • Break up long-winded paragraphs as nobody wants to read a big block of text.
  • Put lists in bullet format.

As tempting as it is to put in something extra, always remember that any form of business communication should be plain and simple.

5. Conversational

You’re writing a business letter, not a legal letter. A professional tone doesn’t always have to sound serious. When writing, do it as if you’re talking to a friend, but in a professional way. The goal of business writing is to convey your message as clearly as possible, and using a conversational tone helps with that.

If you’re struggling with writing a conversation business letter, you can try to record yourself and transcribe it. Just be sure to edit your transcribed text before hitting send.

6. Factual

All business communication should rely on factual information and not opinions. In this day and age of fake news, it can be easy to fall into the trap of misinformation. Before presenting or publishing any form of business communication make sure it’s credible, and the sources have been verified. It’s also essential that if there’s any data present, it should come from an unbiased source and it should be up to date. Once your credibility is lost, it can be challenging to recover.

7. Error-free

Proofreading should always be observed after writing. Don’t just check once, check twice or thrice if you have to. This step is what most people often forget. Proofreading can have a tremendous impact on your reader. For example, if you’re sending a proposal to a client, you want them to think that you’re smart and professional. Mailing in a proposal letter that has some grammatical errors sends the wrong message.

Error checking will also prove that you have attention to detail. Run a spell-check program for your text to see if any words have been misspelled. You can also ask someone to proofread your work for you after you’ve edited it. People will judge you for your grammar and typo errors, don’t let your error define you. Check your work and make sure it’s error-free.


Apply these fundamental techniques the next time you write a business letter. It’s crucial that you consistently practice. The more you practice, the more you’ll be an expert on business communication. But, if you really want to be more confident, why not explore the option of attending a free online course. It won’t only improve your business writing skills, but it will also help you gain an unfair advantage over others.

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